Despite Flooding, CVR Will Begin in Edo May 27, Says INEC
May 26, 2024
Mobilise Registered Voters For PVC Collection, INEC Chairman Implores Party Leaders
June 2, 2024

Flooding won’t affect CVR, preparations for Edo Gov polls, says Prof. Yakubu

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu interacts with prospective voters on the queue waiting to register at the Western Boys High School registration centre, Benin city, Edo State on Thursday 30th May 2024

By Nathaniel Gana

Despite the damage caused by last Friday’s flooding at the Edo State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),  the Commission has assured Nigerians that the temporary setback will not affect the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise and its  preparation for the  governorship election scheduled for 21st September 2024. 

The Commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu gave the assurance on Thursday 30th May in Benin city, during an assessment visit to the State Office.

After taking  a tour of the office premises, accompanied by National Commissioners, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, Major General Abubakar Modibo Alkali (rtd) mni, Sam Olumekun mni, and Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu; Chairman’s Technical Team – Prof Bolade Eyinla (Chief Technical Adviser), Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi (Chief Press Secretary), the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Anugbum Onuoha and the Controller, Federal Ministry of Work, Edo state, Mr. Hassan Babatunde,  Prof. Yakubu met with the staff and commended their high spirits despite the impact of the flooding.

 He said, “We are here basically to see for ourselves what happened to our facilities following the unexpected torrential rainfall and the flooding that occurred. Equally importantly is for us to come and meet with you, our staff in the Edo office.

“We thank God that no life was lost and there were no injuries. But we want to assure you that in spite of the extensive damage, we have recovered to continue with the Continuous Voter Registration exercise and we will recover to conduct the governorship election in September.

“We have three months and three weeks until the election, so whatever we have lost in terms of critical equipment, whatever support facilities we need to replace, whatever office furniture we need to replace, we will do so.”

Speaking further, he disclosed that the Commission will salvage the equipment that can be fixed, and mobilise resources from neighbouring states to replace the shortfalls for the successful conduct of the governorship election. 

His words: “Whatever we need for the forthcoming Edo State governorship election, we will make sure that we provide these facilities. Fortunately for us this is an off-cycle election so we can rely on our resources from the neighbouring states for the election. It is only in a general election that each state office must be self-sufficient but here, we will call for additional resources from the neighbouring states to ensure that there are no issues with the election.”

He continued: “The present Commission has a lot of experience in handling the Edo governorship election. For me personally, this is going to be my third governorship election in Edo. We conducted the 2016 election. We conducted the September 2020 election and by God’s grace we are approaching the September 2024 election. So the CVR which is ongoing will not be affected.

“So, let me reassure Edo voters that the CVR will continue in spite of the slight setback we have experienced and the preparation for the governorship election is also going to continue.” 

He affirmed the Commission’s commitment to  the welfare of its staff, assuring that the Commission will continue to provide a decent working environment for staff in Edo and all INEC offices across the country. 

Also speaking in an interview with members of the Press after the meeting with INEC staff, Prof. Yakubu said the Commission was not considering  relocating the state office at the moment. He said the plan was to find a solution to flooding. 

Earlier, the REC commended the  measures taken by the Commission to address the flooding of the state office.  He  pledged the  commitment of the  Edo State staff towards credible and successful election.

The REC said: “We had an incident that happened on the 24th of this month, and when I reported the matter to you, you took a proactive action that led to the relocation of the registration center here to our office in Ikpoba Okha. That helped us. That decision and the position of the commission helped us. Many people were thinking that the registration exercise would not continue, but to the glory of God, we are on course, we cannot afford to fail the commission. All the assurance we are giving you here is that the mandate and the vision of the Commission will be maintained in Edo.”

The INEC Chairman later visited some of the registration centres  to assess the ongoing CVR in the state. They include, Ward 2, Western Boys Secondary School, Ikpoba Okha LGA; INEC Ikpoba Okha LGA Office; and  Ward 3, Eweka Primary School, Egor LGA. He also held a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Edo State.